Massachusetts regulators could OK first recreational cannabis testing labs this month

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Massachusetts marijuana regulators could approve independent testing laboratories later this month, clearing what’s been a key roadblock to opening up the state’s first recreational MJ retail shops.

The executive director of the Cannabis Control Commission, Shawn Collins, told commissioners Thursday he was “relatively confident” that one or two labs would be ready for a licensing vote at the panel’s next meeting Aug. 23.

Massachusetts law requires all cannabis products to be independently tested for potency and possible contaminants before they’re sold.

The absence of approved labs has delayed rollout of recreational marijuana sales, which had been targeted to begin July 1.

The state already has testing facilities for medical cannabis, but those labs must obtain separate licenses if they want to test recreational marijuana.

The commission on Thursday issued provisional licenses to retail stores in Wareham, Plymouth and Easthampton, bringing to six the number of cannabis shops with preliminary approval to operate.

– Associated Press